I decided that I should go to ski touring last week. I chose mountain Rodica. I and Branko left very early, we caught one of the first cabel car. Well we warmed up in the morning flooded and icy snow on the Vogel ski center slopes. We ascented above Suha mountain on the top of Rodica. We were at the top of Rodica in the company of other skiers a little after noon. We were rewarded with beautiful views of the Julian Alps and Karavanke. We descended after a short rest. Skiing was great. Danilo Tic
After seeing the promising weather forecast and hearing Mitja Šorn’s positive feedback about the snow conditions in the Krnica valley, I decided to go ski touring beneath the massive rock face of Kriška stena. I was quite worried, though, about the moderate (level 2) avalanche danger listed on the ARSO website. Because of the warmer temperatures, I expected to encounter smaller avalanches from the high faces around our chosen route. That’s why Gorazd and I wasted no time after arriving at our starting point and hurried past the Krnica hut towards the slopes we intended to ski.
As expected, we saw several small avalanches sliding from the faces of Prisank and Razor. On the other side of the valley, snow was coming down from Špik’s slopes and couloirs. Since all these avalanches were very small, we continued with our skin to the base of Kriška stena, which appeared to have a layer of ice beneath the fresh snow. Of course this fresh snow was poorly bonded with the layer beneath it and was quite unstable due to the warm and sunny weather.
We had to deal with some crust at the start of the skiing, but the quality of the snow improved considerably further down. We found the best conditions among the small trees, which were barely sticking out of the snow. The skiing was incredible, and we were back at the hut in no time. We had a really great time!
Mountain guide IFMGA Danilo Tič
This year’s “Lines above Chamonix” programme came to an end this Saturday. We enjoyed three weeks of skiing with three different groups, all equally enthusiastic. Each group had at least two or three perfect days – blue skies, sunny and at least 30cm of fresh powder.
We did many runs in the Pas de Chevre area beneath the Dru, finding completely untouched slopes there, or being just the second party to ski our line. It snowed almost every day and we didn’t have to skin to find untracked snow, so we just used lifts, which is easier and makes it possible to ski more runs in the same day. Of course we also skied the Vallee Blanche and its numerous variants. On more than one occasion we skied both runs in the same day: Pas de Chevre in the morning, followed by Vallee Blanche later in the day. If it hadn’t snowed for more than two days, we skinned (but never more than two hours) to get deeper into the backcountry, skiing under the Dent du Geant and from the Col du Passon.
It’s true that Italians are known for great coffee, but here’s my tip for the best morning brew in Chamonix: take the first tram to Grandes Montets and ski one of the couloirs beneath the Dru, before stopping at the Les Rochers des Mottets hut. Trust me, the coffee tastes so much better when you're sitting in front of this lovely hut, looking at the line you just skied beneath the imposing rock faces, and wondering whether or not you might be dreaming. That was my farewell to the high mountains of Cham on Thursday.
It snowed on Friday, but that didn’t stop us from skiing from the Aiguille du Midi mid station, leaving our lines hidden in the trees and the patches of mist.